Frankel: As Pa. faces opioid crisis and $730 million in unfinished budget work, state Senate GOP focusing on … guns and abortion

HARRISBURG, Sept. 27 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, labeled the state Senate's Republican majority "shockingly out of touch" for spending time on far-right gun and abortion bills when the legislature needs to act on the heroin and opioid crisis and $730 million in unfinished state budget business.

"The heroin and opioid crisis is devastating families and communities across the state. Just today, we learned that the rate of babies born with drug addiction issues in Pennsylvania has shot up about 250 percent from 2000 to 2015. And last week, state police said a Johnstown police officer had an opioid overdose and had to be revived with naloxone -- while on duty. This is a widespread, urgent problem and the legislature has to do more this fall to address it," Frankel said.

"In addition, the legislature still has $730 million in unfinished state budget business to handle this fall. The state Senate's Republican majority is shockingly out of touch in choosing to spend time on what would be the nation's strictest abortion ban and a bill to force taxpayers to fund NRA lawsuits against local gun-safety laws.

"State Senate Republicans are providing great examples of why people are fed up with Harrisburg."